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Division of Assets

Overland Park Divorce Lawyers Skillfully Manage Division of Assets

Experienced attorneys help you protect what is yours

Divorcing couples must resolve their property disputes either through a marital settlement agreement or by litigating the issue in court. This can be complex, even if you don’t consider yourself wealthy. Kansas has an equitable distribution law that allows the court to divide assets and debts in a manner that is fair, but not necessarily even. A judge has great discretion in this matter, so you need a knowledgeable attorney to protect your property rights. Since 2008, The Henry Law Firm, P.A. has provided meticulous care to property issues for modest and lavish marital estates. Our detail-oriented approach enables us to assert your property rights in a compelling fashion. If you are concerned about your finances, trust our attorneys to take decisive steps to make your future more secure.

The equitable distribution process in Kansas

Under Kansas law, a couple’s property includes assets and debts. This property is either separate from the marital estate, solely owned by one of the spouses, and not subject to equitable distribution, or it is part of the marital estate and subject to distribution.

The first step of the process is to identify whether property is marital or separate. Separate property consists of all debts and assets that:

  • A spouse acquired prior to the marriage
  • A spouse acquired during the marriage using only separate property or earnings from separate property
  • A spouse acquired during the marriage as an inheritance or as a gift from someone other than the other spouse

All other property is marital. It is also important to note that separate property can become part of the marital estate through a process known as commingling. In commingling, the couple’s use of separate property as a marital asset means that property has become a marital asset. Commingling can happen intentionally or unintentionally. Disputes often arise over the classification of an asset as separate or marital and whether commingling of an asset has actually taken place.

Marital property is subject to the next two steps in the equitable distribution process:

  • Valuation — Each item in the marital estate must have its value assessed. This is another point of contention, especially for items such as real estate, fine art, jewelry and sophisticated financial instruments.
  • Distribution — The court looks at numerous factors to determine how much of the marital estate should go to each spouse. These factors include each spouse’s age, the length of the marriage, each spouse’s present and future earning capacity, how and when the spouses acquired property, each spouse’s family responsibilities, whether a spouse is receiving maintenance, actions taken by either spouse to wastefully dissipate assets, and any tax consequences of the property division.

As your advocate, we bring pertinent facts that weigh in your favor to the court’s attention. We work tirelessly to assemble the evidence necessary to secure your separate property and obtain the full portion of the marital estate you deserve.

Complications in the Kansas equitable distribution process

Property division is rarely cut and dried, and parties to the process can often be blindsided. We work to protect your interests on complex issues such as:

  • Debt you didn’t know about — Did your spouse run up credit card bills that you are suddenly responsible for? We can help protect you from joint liability for your spouse’s separate debt.
  • Division of retirement accounts — Spouses generally have a right to share in each other’s retirement benefits earned during the marriage. Courts can divide these accounts without tax consequences using a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO).
  • Sale and possession of the family home — For most couples, their home is their greatest asset, and often there isn’t enough left in the marital estate to offset its value. That makes an outright award of the home to one spouse impossible. But, when children are involved, a sale of the family home is often too disruptive and destabilizing. An award of possession to the residential parent with offsets to the nonresidential parent is often the best solution.
  • Hidden or fraudulently transferred assets — Although the law requires spouses to be completely transparent in their financial disclosures, parties will often try to hide assets from the court or transfer them to third parties to keep them out of the spouse’s reach. We have the experience to spot these illegal tactics. Whenever necessary, we use the discovery process to prove our suspicions and protect your rights.

Whatever the size of your marital estate, you must retain an experienced and diligent divorce lawyer who is committed to protecting your rights and assets.

Contact our Kansas divorce attorneys to protect your rights in property division.

Divorce is painful enough without suffering financial hardship as well. At The Henry Law Firm, P.A., we work closely with you to effectively assert your property rights to deliver optimal results. Call us at 913-381-5020 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our family law attorneys in Overland Park.

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